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This slow cooker turkey bolognese is an easy gluten free dinner for the whole family and perfect for batch cooking. Made with turkey mince it's a great healthy slow cooker recipe.
If you're already a fan of spag bol then you have to try this slow cooker turkey bolognese sauce.
It's taken me months of tweaking to get this recipe just right and I think this slow cooker bolognese recipe will stand up to any beef version.
Making this in the slow cooker means you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove.
This turkey bolognese recipe also freezes really well. You can make a big batch, portion it up and freeze any leftovers for an easy dinner one night.
Serve it with gluten free spaghetti or any gluten free pasta shape of choice.
I know it's non-traditional but I love it with gluten free penne as the tubes hold all the sauce, sprinkled with lots of parmesan cheese.
Ingredients and Substitutions
There's a printable recipe card below with all the ingredients for my gluten free, slow cooker turkey bolognese recipe.
But for the shopping list you will need the following ingredients:
- Turkey Mince - I like to use turkey breast mince (ground turkey) for this recipe. I just prefer the taste of the breast mince and it keeps it lower in fat (and calories) too.
- Onion, Garlic, Celery and Carrot - These form the sofrito base for this bolognese sauce. Even if you're not a fan of celery and/or carrot I urge you to try it. You chop these very finely and fry them until soft before slow cooking. You won't even know they're there - it's a great way to add 'hidden' veg to a recipe too.
- Basil and Oregano - I always use dried basil and oregano to flavour my bolognese. I use them in a lot of my recipes so you can always guarantee you'll get through a jar!
- Tinned Tomatoes and Passata - This recipe uses a mixture of tinned tomatoes and passata. Both are really cheap and easy ingredients to find. Plus the combination gives you a sauce which is both textured and coats the gluten free pasta.
- Red Wine - You can omit this if you like but to me using red wine is crucial to getting those deep flavours in this bolognese recipe.
- Vegetable Stock Pot - Not all vegetable stock is gluten free so make sure you double check the ingredients. I usually use Knorr stock pots as they are certified gluten free. But I have a whole list of gluten free stock cubes here.
- Tomato Puree - This adds a richness to the sauce as the flavour is much more concentrated than tinned tomatoes or passata.
- Gluten Free Yeast Extract - my secret weapon! This adds a lovely umami flavour to the turkey bolognese, bringing it up to the same level as a beef one for me. Not all yeast extract is gluten free - Marmite is not safe for people with coeliac disease. However, some supermarket versions are. At the time of writing the Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys' Reduced Salt, Tesco and Meridian Yeast Extracts are all gluten free. But do double check as recipes may change since this was written.
Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese FAQs
To help troubleshoot, I've tried to answer as many frequently asked questions as possible about this slow cooker turkey bolognese
But if you have any others please do add them to the comments at the end of this post and I'll do my best to answer them!
Is slow cooker turkey bolognese gluten free?
Yes, this slow cooker turkey bolognese is completely gluten free and safe for people with coeliac disease - as are all the recipes on my site.
Do make sure you double check some of the ingredients, like the stock pots and yeast extract, to ensure these are gluten free.
Otherwise the rest of the ingredients in this turkey bolognese are naturally free from gluten.
Is this slow cooker turkey bolognese dairy free?
Yes, this recipe is dairy free! There are no dairy-containing ingredients in this slow cooker turkey bolognese.
It is also free from gluten and eggs, making it a great meal for people with multiple allergies or intolerances.
Do I have to brown the mince/vegetables first?
If you *really* want to, you can just 'dump and go' with this recipe, but when it comes to slow cooker mince recipes I'd always urge you not to skip browning.
Without browning the mince first, it can go a bit 'mushy' in the slow cooker.
Browning the meat and veg is also important because it causes the Maillard reaction, which essentially gives it a distinctive, deeper flavour.
And that is essentially what makes this turkey bolognese recipe taste so good!
WHICH SLOW COOKER DO YOU USE?
I absolutely love my Morphy Richard's Sear and Stew Slow Cooker. It's perfect because the pan can be used on the hob too!
I know a lot of people are worried about the cost of living and looking for cheaper alternative to turning on the gas or electric oven.
The good news is slow cookers are actually pretty efficient to run!
I've done a bit of research online and it looks like a slow cooker costs roughly 16p a day to run, compared to 87p a day for an electric cooker.
WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE A SLOW COOKER?
If you don't have a slow cooker you can make this recipe on the hob. I recommend following the steps in my classic gluten free spaghetti bolognese recipe.
You will need to follow the same steps, cooking the sofrito base and browning the turkey mince before adding everything else.
Add the yeast extract in along with the other ingredients and simmer until everything is cooked through.
What to serve with slow cooker turkey bolognese?
Some of my favourite ways to serve this gluten free, slow cooker turkey bolognese are:
- With gluten free spaghetti or any gluten free pasta shape of choice. You can either stir the sauce through the cooked pasta, or heap it on top.
- Leftovers make a great topping for a gluten free pizza in place of marinara sauce.
- You can use the turkey bolognese sauce in place of a ragu when making a gluten free lasagna recipe. I have a great one in my book.
- Load leftover turkey bolognese into a crispy jacket potato along with lashings of butter and topped with grated cheese.
You can get completely creative with this turkey bolognese sauce recipe. If you have a favourite way to serve it, let me know in the comments!
Can I freeze this slow cooker turkey bolognese?
This slow cooker turkey bolognese recipe is perfect for batch cooking and freezing.
To freeze this recipe, simply portion out the cooked bolognese sauce into tubs and allow to cool completely before freezing.
It will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months and can be heated from frozen in the microwave whenever you need a quick meal.
I recommend making the gluten free pasta fresh when serving as it can break up and go a bit mushy when frozen.
Can I make slow cooker bolognese with beef mince instead?
Of course! If you want to make a slow cooker bolognese, I recommend switching to using beef mince and a gluten free rich beef stock pot.
You can also follow my gluten free spaghetti bolognese recipe in the slow cooker instead, making sure to brown the mince first.
My slow cooker turkey bolognese recipe
I love this slow cooker turkey bolognese recipe as an easy alternative to a beef bolognese sauce. And it's so easy to make!
This recipe serves four people but you can easily up or down the quantities to make as much as you like.
And if you loved it, please do leave a review to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me.
A lighter alternative to a traditional spa bol using turkey mince, cooked in the slow cooker for ease! Serve with gluten free pasta for a banging meal - the trick to big flavour is to use a gluten free yeast extract to up the umami!
- 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
- 500g turkey mince
- 2 medium onions, (peeled and finely chopped)
- 3 garlic cloves, (peeled and crushed)
- 2 celery sticks, (finely chopped)
- 1 carrot, (finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 300 ml passata
- 125 ml red wine
- 1 GF vegetable stock pot
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp gluten free yeast extract
- Add the olive oil to a frying pan (or use your slow cooker pot if it is hob-friendly) and place on a medium heat. Add the mince, onions, garlic, celery and carrot and fry for 5-7 minutes until the mince is brown all over.
- Add the mince and all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and mix well to combine. Place the lid on and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. Stir and serve with gluten free spaghetti (or any pasta shape of choice) sprinkled with parmesan.
Any leftover sauce can be portioned up and frozen. Defrost and heat for a quick and easy meal! (I would recommend freezing the sauce only and cooking the gluten free pasta fresh when serving as GF pasta can break up when frozen)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 309mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 34g
NEED MORE SLOW COOKER RECIPE INSPIRATION?
Here are some more gluten free slow cooker recipes you can try out once you've made this Slow Cooker Turkey Bolgonese.
If you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next!
LIKE THIS SLOW COOKER TURKEY BOLOGNESE RECIPE?
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